AMD's R300 Gallium3D Driver Is Looking Good For 2011
Written by Michael Larabel in Display Drivers on 28 October 2010. Page 3 of 3. 146 Comments

The Gallium3D driver continued to lead with the Urban Terror game, but the frame-rates were not too much better and still not playable by an open-source ATI driver stack on this Mobility Radeon chipset.

Warsow is the first game where we actually found the R300 Gallium3D driver regressing against R300 classic. At 1024 x 768 the frame-rate of R300g was barely better than R300c, but at 1280 x 1024 and 1400 x 1050 the frame-rate was much worse under Gallium3D. At the highest tested resolution, it was 11 vs. 19 FPS.

Like Warsow, with the more-demanding Nexuiz game that cannot even break 10 FPS with this open-source game and the Phoronix Test Suite test settings, R300g plummeted against R300c.

While in some games the R300 Gallium3D driver is measurably faster than R300 classic, with Warsow and Nexuiz at least there are some regressions to be spotted that are still there with the very latest Linux kernel and Mesa code. The R300 Gallium3D performance is also still no comparison to that of the official AMD Catalyst Linux driver. At least we know there are a few performance optimizations ahead when Radeon page-flipping goes mainline, among other changes. Regardless, the R300 Gallium3D driver continues to make progress and we are ecstatic to finally see this driver being enabled by more Linux distribution vendors for their out-of-the-box driver stack. In 2011 this driver will hopefully shine. Next up is our look at the R600 Gallium3D driver.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via

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